Hoppin' Friday!

Whew....I am pooped!  We just got back from Atlanta where we saw Aerosmith in concert (more on that in Sunday's post) and that trip wore me out!!  I came home and took a multi-hour nap.  I must not be as young as I'd like to think! :)

You bloggers just keep on creating these irresistible linky parties and blog hops, so I'm joining up with several in this post!

First for Elizabeth's Fabulous Find Friday.
Of course, I have a find from Target's dollar bins....where else? :)  Just when I thought I had found every monster item ever made, I was strolling through this section for the billionth time when I saw....Monster Water Bottles!!  Here's a pic Mr. Madden took of me checking out.

I didn't know he snapped this pic, but he sent it to me via text asking, "Are you creating a monster army?" Hehehe...I think I may be!  You see, I don't like my students getting up and down to get  water throughout the day so instead, I ask them to bring water bottles to keep at their desks.  The only rule is that they must have a "pop-up top" instead of screw on lid....you can imagine why!  So, I decided to go ahead and buy them all a water bottle that I'll label with their names!  Each night, my students take their water bottles home to fill-up and bring back to school the next morning (no filling up at school....that would take too long!) LOVE this fabulous find that goes with my class theme!

Now for Kelley's linky party...
 Let's see...5 things I couldn't live without in my classroom.  This should be easy!


I use name badge holders purchased from my local office supply store for student nametags.  Here's why I love these...

1. They can be used over and over, year after year.
2. I can design and print my own inserts to match my classroom theme.
3. I don't have to create sticker nametags EVERY time they're needed throughout the year.
4. They are easily accessible for substitutes to use (even for unexpected absences!)
5. There's enough space to include the student's name, as well as other information (teacher's name, school, lunch number, etc.)

Honestly, I don't create a lot of charts on chart paper (I know, I know...I am inspired by all the cute ones on Pinterest...but I'm an electronic kind of girl), but when I do, I LOVE these markers.  Okay, so I love all Sharpies but these are super cool since they don't bleed through the paper!

These aren't my actual chair pockets, but they look very similar (this pic is from etsy).  Since I use tables in my classroom instead of desks, my chair pockets are a MUST!!!  Students keep their folders and journal in there for easy access throughout the day.

I could insert soooo many books onto this list, but one series that I couldn't live without is Stuart J. Murphy's MathStart books.  I wrote a grant for all of these one year and they are spectacular!  I believe they come in 3 different levels and there is one for just about every math concept.  I use these as activating strategies for lots of math lessons!

I think every first year teacher should stock up on playing cards and dice.  You can find them in multi-packs at the Dollar Tree and they can be used for SO MANY DIFFERENT MATH GAMES!!  I remove all face cards and use the ace cards to represent ONE.  Easy to replace, saves ink, and usually kids have these at home to replicate playing the games with their families.

Since we're already talking about must have resources, I'm going to link up with Mrs. Castro's linky while I'm on a roll. :)
My number one teacher tool to have at home is a hot glue gun!  What teacher doesn't have one of these plugged in at all times?
And, this little baby is CORDLESS!!  Now, that is a must in the classroom AND at home!

I have to agree with all of the others who have said the Scotch Laminator!  How did I go for so long with just using the one at school??  For $28 from Target, this one is a no-brainer!  An ABSOLUTE must-have at home....no more waiting for the school laminator to warm-up or waiting in line to use it!
And, soon to be added to my list (like, it is in my cart on Amazon right now and my finger is itching to tap that "one-click shopping" button) is the Silhouette Cameo....this linky might just push me over the edge to take the plunge!
I've been waiting (and hoping) since my birthday is coming up, but there are just sooooo many things I could use this for right NOW!

I'm going to wrap up this post by joining the First Day Jitters Blog Hop from Fierce in Fourth.
We all love to read this book on the first day of school and I love how it shows the kids that teachers have jitters, too!  Three things causing me to have First Day Jitters this year are....

1.  A New Principal - Our principal retired last year and we have a new principal.  From everything I've seen, I think he's going to be great...but, I hate the unknown.  I like to plan and be prepared and, well, it's hard to plan for the unknown!

2.  My Schedule - We received our school's master schedule and let's just say 2nd grade got the short end of this deal!  As of right now (hoping something changes!), we have NO instructional time until about 11:00.  SERIOUSLY??  Our school starts at 8:00 and we have a morning news show that airs until 8:15.  Well, at 8:15 we will have our pull-out (resource, speech, etc) so we can't do major instruction during that time (we usually do SSR and some word work).  Right after that we have RELATED ARTS and immediately after that we have LUNCH (yes, at 10:15....we got stuck with that dreaded first lunch last year, too).  UGH!  I cannot imagine trying to cram ALL of our instruction into one LONG AFTERNOON block.  Poor kiddos! :(

3.  The New Batch - It doesn't matter how long you've taught, I think you always get jitters about a new batch of students and parents.  I'm excited about it, yet nervous, at the same time....every year!

Have you linked up lately?  Join the linky parties and blog hops above!


  1. Our 2nd grade schedule is a lot like yours :(
    Students come in and go to RTI first thing, then their special, then we have them for one period, and then it's lunch!!! I know that most of that period we have them before lunch will be devoted to homework folders, morning work, and morning meeting. I'm dreading the loooong afternoon with NO BREAK!

    At least we're in the same boat! Misery loves company :/

    Across the Hall in 2nd

  2. I have been thinking about buying a laminator for a while now! I think I may just get that one!!

  3. We are also getting a new principal this year ~ but we don't know who it will be because I don't think one is even assigned to our school yet. We are also getting a new assistant principal. This was a new development over the summer. So far it doesn't look like this position is filled either. PLUS our office manager retired. Hmmm...looks like the teachers will be running the school. :)

    Tales from a Schoolyard

  4. I only been a follower for a few days and I love your blog!!!! I was giving nominations to very new bloggers but I decided to add one more nomination to my list and I added your blog! Thank you for becoming one of my new follower and I look forward to following you this year!!

  5. Thanks for linking up! I have my Silhouette but haven't had a chance to figure any thing out yet. I'll be sure to share as soon as I do. You'll probably buy it and have it all figured out before me though. ;)
    Mrs. Castro's Class

  6. Poor kiddos, indeed. Do you guys have a snack time in the afternoon, then? I would think that would be a must in order for their tummies to make it through the rest of the day!

  7. Wow-that is a crazy schedule! I'm not sure I would even be functional for such a long stretch of time! :)


  8. I too use refillable water bottles in my classroom. Just a tip...make sure that your students do not put ice in their water bottles. I was not clear about this and I had students with "sweaty" water bottles on hot days. It was a mess.
    I hope that your schedule changes for the better because that schedule sounds crazy. I know I would have trouble cramming everything into the afternoon. Good luck.

  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I've loved looking through yours. Can you believe I just got a glue gun last week? I have no idea what I did without one before. I think lunch at 10:15, especially for 2nd graders, is crazy!! What time do you get out of school?

  10. I am still anxious about meeting my students and their parents. It's been 10 years, you would think I'd be over that...but I am not! :)

  11. Thank you so much for linking up! I cannot believe that you found those chair pockets for so cheap. Is this the set you use in your room . . . what do you think of them??? Looking on Etsy never crossed my mind! Thanks again!!

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

  12. Hi Amanda!

    Thanks for coming by to check out and follow our blog! We are both happy to be your two newest followers!

    Lauren and Jeanine

    Lauren and Jeanine's Creative Corner

  13. I feel your schedule pain! A few years ago I didn't get more than 20 min. of morning instructional time my first graders. It was a rough year. I got very creative with my time. One 20min period I did a read aloud, then we had specials. I had a quick 15 min of word work and we were off to lunch and recess. It was a long afternoon! Good luck!

  14. Those monster water bottles are fantastic:) They go perfectly with your theme! Thank you so much for linking up with me.

  15. Aerosmith... really??? I am soo jealous!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog and I just want to say I love your ideas! I may have to head over to Target and pick up some water bottles for my own kiddos! Looking forward to following your blog!
    ...and remember... stay 'Wild About School!'

  16. I'm so glad I found your blog through the jitters blog hop - I had no idea there was a cordless glue gun on the market. Time to go shopping!!

  17. Hey Amanda! I am super nervous too! I am so glad I found your blog...much love, Lisl


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